This Wednesday, after sitting in my room and watching Netflix while I planned for classes, my wonderful host mom, Lucy, decided we should get out of the house. We hadn’t eaten yet so we decided to go on a little “Gastronomic Tour” as she likes to call it (though she says it in Spanish of course). Of course I didn’t complain; if there is one thing I can’t turn down, it’s definitely food!
Lucy wanted me to try some of Ecuador’s traditional food so we started at a cute little “hole in the wall” café called “Cafe de la Rosa.” There we had tamalés de pollo, huevo, y verdures (chicken, egg and vegetables) along with chocolaté (aka hot chocolate with marshmallows). The tamalés were very yummy, though though not my favorite thing I have had so far – I’ve had a LOT of good food here. The hot chocolate though… WOW. I don’t like chocolate – I know, I’m sorry – but I do love a good cup of hot chocolate. That night I had the BEST cup of hot chocolate I have every had in my life.
After eating at Café de la Rosa, Lucy said I absolutely had to try tortillas as well, so we drove around to find one of the places she loved. Unfortunately the one she wanted to go to was closed, but honestly I am glad it was. Instead, we ended up going to Doña Magolita, a small restaurant/café where wee had Tortillas con caucara (tortillas with beef). Not only were the tortillas delicious (they were made of potatoes and cheese, served with with beef on the side and a fried egg on top), but the story of the café is amazing.
Doña Magolita has 8 children and was married to a builder. One day, her husband was killed in a horrible construction accident. After his death, their family was left with nothing. Doña Magolita lived in just one bedroom with her 8 children. The bedroom had only one bed, but despite what had happened, Doña Magolita was determined to make sure her children got an education and worked hard to provide for her family. Every morning, she would wake up and make tortillas to sell on the street. Everyone absolutely loved her tortillas! She sold so many that she was able to earn enough money to later buy her own building. There, she created her café: Doña Magolita.